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This unabridged version of "Roland Johnson's Lost In a Desert World (as told to Karl Williams)" includes Roland's voice on the Introduction, as well as the speech he gave at the Third International People First Conference in Toronto, (June,1993)("Who's In Control"). In addition, the Appendix, "In Memory Of Roland," offers a recording of Karl Williams' song, "We'll Be Thinking Of You," from the 1998 CD RESPECT: SONGS OF THE SELF-ADVOCACY MOVEMENT by Karl Williams & Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), which won a place on the Grammy ballot that year.
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Speaking For Ourselves is a Philadelphia-based organization with nine chapters across Pennsylvania. Run by people with developmental disabilities, its mission is to speak out on important issues, to provide support for its members, and to teach the public about the needs, wishes, and potential of people with disabilities.From the Author:
Roland Johnson and I tape recorded hours of conversation about his life. I took out all my questions and comments and worked entirely and exclusively with Roland's words. What you will read is an authentic voice; what I did was only to bring some order to that which is erratic in each of us, the memory of our own existence... Between these pages is all the evidence anyone should need to convince them that there is most definitely something of value to be found in people with developmental disabilities. It may be difficult to put into words what that something is. It has nothing to do with what we now define as intelligence - or with wealth or power or physical attractiveness. But because it may be a bit elusive, this contribution they have to make, that does not mean that it does not exist...My hope is that, as you read Roland Johnson's words, that peculiar brand of embarrassment with which the world now responds to people who are different in the way that he was different will begin to dissipate in you.
We have not fully embraced the universe until we open our eyes and our hearts to all that it contains. Roland Johnson and his brothers and sisters constitute one of the wonders of this world we live in; may this book open your eyes to that fact.
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